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An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


Between the Lines
From Communications of the ACM

Between the Lines

Smartphone apps are driving changes in the way people park. Sensors, crowdsourcing, and big data are making it easier to find open parking spots.

Plenty of Proteins
From Communications of the ACM

Plenty of Proteins

The growth of structural biology brings new challenges for the world's protein data archive.

Humans Out-Play an AI at Texas Hold 'Em—For Now
From ACM Careers

Humans Out-Play an AI at Texas Hold 'Em—For Now

In 1997 chess master Gary Kasparov went to battle against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue in a landmark match. After six games Deep Blue prevailed, marking the...

Oculus Rift Hack Transfers Your Facial Expressions Onto Your Virtual Avatar
From ACM News

Oculus Rift Hack Transfers Your Facial Expressions Onto Your Virtual Avatar

When Facebook bought Oculus VR back in March of 2014, many wondered exactly what the social network was going to do with it; let's face it, many of us are still wondering...

Computing at the Speed of Light
From ACM TechNews

Computing at the Speed of Light

A new ultracompact beamsplitter for dividing light waves into separate channels could lead to computers that work millions of times faster than conventional machines...

Quantum Physics: What Is Really Real?
From ACM News

Quantum Physics: What Is Really Real?

Owen Maroney worries that physicists have spent the better part of a century engaging in fraud.

NASA Soil Moisture Mission Begins Science Operations
From ACM News

NASA Soil Moisture Mission Begins Science Operations

NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission to map global soil moisture and detect whether soils are frozen or thawed has begun science operations.

New Computer Bug Exposes Broad Security Flaws
From ACM TechNews

New Computer Bug Exposes Broad Security Flaws

An international team has discovered an Internet bug that enables an attacker to trick a Web browser into believing it is using a regular key rather than the export...

To Handle Big Data, Shrink It
From ACM TechNews

To Handle Big Data, Shrink It

A new algorithm finds the smallest possible approximation of a matrix that guarantees reliable computations. 

New Chip Architecture May Provide Foundation for Quantum Computer
From ACM TechNews

New Chip Architecture May Provide Foundation for Quantum Computer

A new device that enables more electrodes to be placed on a chip could bring the field one step closer to a quantum computer that can perform complex algorithms...

A Nano-Transistor Assesses Your Health Via Sweat
From ACM TechNews

A Nano-Transistor Assesses Your Health Via Sweat

A new ultra-low-power sensor enables real-time scanning of the contents of liquids such as perspiration. 

The Machine Vision Algorithm Beating Art Historians at Their Own Game
From ACM TechNews

The Machine Vision Algorithm Beating Art Historians at Their Own Game

Recent advances in machine learning such as deep convolutional neural networks are enabling the development of machines that perform pattern-recognition tasks. 

Hacking the Brain
From ACM Opinion

Hacking the Brain

The perfectibility of the human mind is a theme that has captured our imagination for centuries—the notion that, with the right tools, the right approach, the right...

U.S. Science Academies Take On Human-Genome Editing
From ACM News

U.S. Science Academies Take On Human-Genome Editing

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) will launch a major initiative to develop guidelines for editing human genomes...

Technology Doesn't Explain the Philly Train Crash
From ACM News

Technology Doesn't Explain the Philly Train Crash

Cars can now drive by themselves. Automatic pilot systems can fly a jet airliner much of the time. Why is it so hard to make trains that can stop on their own?

Can We Identify Every Kind of Cell in the Body?
From ACM News

Can We Identify Every Kind of Cell in the Body?

How many types of cells are there in the human body? Textbooks say a couple of hundred. But the true number is undoubtedly far larger.

Wearables May Get Boost From Boron-infused Graphene
From ACM TechNews

Wearables May Get Boost From Boron-infused Graphene

Rice University researchers have upgraded a microsupercapacitor they say could eventually be incorporated into personal and wearable electronics. 

Computers Harness Language Translation
From ACM TechNews

Computers Harness Language Translation

Statistical machine-translation technologies developed at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory have helped the Army become less reliant on human translators.

New Options for Spintronic Devices: Switching Between 1 and 0 With Low Voltage
From ACM TechNews

New Options for Spintronic Devices: Switching Between 1 and 0 With Low Voltage

Researchers have demonstrated switching ferromagnetic domains on and off with low voltage at near-room temperature in a structure made of ferroic materials. 
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